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"Looking For A SIMPLE Star Trek-ish Space Combat Game" Topic

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1,363 hits since 30 Sep 2016
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Coyotepunc and Hatshepsuut30 Sep 2016 7:57 p.m. PST

I am now looking for something in the way of a simple soace combat game that would easily adapt to Star Trek usage… large ships using deflector fields, beam weapons, and explosive projectiles. Fighters/carriers marginalized. Hopefully self-contained, as I am a cash-poor man and will be building all needed ships myself. Primarily featuring just one or a few ships per side.

The complexity level I am looking for is something like FiveCore, minimal record keeping and charts, quick playing with few die rolls.

This is what I am doing: my wife is interested in more gaming. I want to create the full experience for her, and she REALLY likes Star Trek (as an aside she is the only female Trek fan I know whose favorite is not Spock, but Scotty instead.) So, I want to put her in the Captain's chair for a multi-level campaign, roleplaying the big decisions, using a ship combat game for space action, and FiveCore for ground actions. She really likes FiveCore :-)

Thank you in advance for any and all suggestions.

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2016 8:48 p.m. PST

Talk to me when you get back, I have something that I think fits the bill. Your friend Bashytubits.

Coyotepunc and Hatshepsuut30 Sep 2016 8:58 p.m. PST

I will be back Sunday night :-)

boy wundyr x Inactive Member30 Sep 2016 10:01 p.m. PST

Engage by Red Wyvern Games is old-school Trek with the serial numbers filed off. It can give a good small scenario game, or scale up to moderate size (say squadron) actions easily enough. If you go with it, I can pass along my re-ratings of the TOS/TOM ships.

And you can give the ships heroic engineers…

MacrossMartin Inactive Member30 Sep 2016 10:10 p.m. PST

Mongoose's A Call to Arms: Star Fleet is a very nice system, once you snip out all the non-canon Starfleet Battles weapons and add-ons. (Klingons with phasers, photon torpedoes that aren't torpedoes, etc.)

If you'd like a copy, I still have some. Not sure about postage from Australia to Nevada though… :)

It takes a bit of tweaking, but if you want simple but with flavour, I think they do a really nice job. Oh, and there's no fighters or carriers in the basic rulebook. I'm using some of the mechanics for a set of Trek rules I'm working on now.

Only thing is, there's no real rules for representing 'hero' crews, so that's one thing I'm working on…

Gaz004501 Oct 2016 1:46 a.m. PST

Pretty simple and can be tinkered with to taste……..

And these….

Dynaman878901 Oct 2016 5:23 a.m. PST

A call to arms is up to a second edition that ADB worked on -should have taken care of the kinks that Macrossmartin mentions. It is available from wargamevault.

TheBeast Supporting Member of TMP01 Oct 2016 5:56 a.m. PST

G.O.B.S., A Sky Full of Stars, and my fanboy pick, Full Thrust has/will get mentioned, but a) I think, are actually some simpler than Five Core and b) require hunting down Trek-specific rules and ships.

However, free (A Sky Full Stars has a free simple download test version that works well) is good for the cash strapped.

Not sure about the size of figs you want, but PM if you want some old Micro Machines; I can spare a few for you, gratis.


Personal logo Ed the Two Hour Wargames guy Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Oct 2016 8:06 a.m. PST

5150 Star Navy – Easy for newbies to pick up and plays quickly.


Lucius01 Oct 2016 9:17 a.m. PST

My suggestion would be the board game, "Star Trek Fleet Captains". There is a combat element to it, but you can win the game by exploration or diplomacy as well. Each side has a variety of secret objectives that earn them points. Unlimited replay value.

It also does have the WizKids plastic starships in it. Away teams are represented.

All the major Star Trek characters are in the game. All the various Trek series are mixed up, but somehow it works.

I played the game a lot with my 12 year-old daughter, and each game felt like an episode of Trek. Highly, highly recommended. The one thing that does not fit your criteria is price, but at $79 USD USD for a turn-key game that includes 24 plastic ships, rules and 300 full-color cards, it may be the best deal that you find.

MajorB01 Oct 2016 11:24 a.m. PST

Full Thrust Light:


Norrins01 Oct 2016 11:36 a.m. PST

I second 5150: Star Navy. Used it for many a Trek game.

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Oct 2016 1:50 p.m. PST

Lou Zocchi wrote two, I believe, sets of rules called
"Star Trek Battles."

The original set (ca. 1972) was intended for use with the original AMT Frog "Star Trek" plastic ship models, and a basketball court playing area.

The later set was for his own (excellent and much missed) range of plastic models in around 1:2400 scale which made for a profitable table top game.

The rules were simple, fun, fast, and NOT messed up with "Star Wars" nonsense or material from any other franchise--pure "Trek."

Might check E-Bay or ask the readership here at TMP to see who has a copy for sale.

Should be right up the Mrs.'s alley!


Gulik2301 Oct 2016 2:25 p.m. PST

I like Federation Commander, but it may not count as "simple". It really captures the Trek feel for me--arming photons, diverting power, shuttle craft, transporter beams, klingon disruptors and Romulan plasma torpedoes. I bought the master rule set for $20 USD or so, and then downloaded almost all of the ship cards for free from the Fed Comm site. The ones I couldn't download for free I bought in PDF packs off Drive Through RPG, I think $5 USD or so per set (as I recall there were 8 or so different ships included in each PDF set).

Personal logo javelin98 Supporting Member of TMP01 Oct 2016 4:32 p.m. PST

Starmada is as simple or complex as you choose to make it, and there is already an official adaptation of it to the Star Fleet Battles universe:



TheBeast Supporting Member of TMP01 Oct 2016 5:57 p.m. PST

Again, I'm not suggesting Federation Commander because it's a bit complex to your requirements, like SFB, the more so the further you get into it, and it's not free.

However, there's a surprisingly good Free Demo download on the Federation Commander section of the Starfleet Games website. THAT'S worth a look to tell if the game mechanics will suffice.


David Johansen01 Oct 2016 9:33 p.m. PST

I've always liked the SFB Cadet ships game. It hits the sweet spot for me.

Shadowcat20 Inactive Member01 Oct 2016 11:20 p.m. PST

Went the SFB route…two boxed sets,three small supliments, then commanders edition…then captains edition…Now Fed commander edition which has simplified things enough to make it enjoyable again. Still have a snotload of old mins also. including Gorn and Klingon Psudo Fighters (tells my age right there)

TheBeast Supporting Member of TMP02 Oct 2016 4:48 a.m. PST

Now, Shadowcat, you KNOW there's no such thing! Mr. Cole, professional engineer, said so.

And, I have at least six blisters from four races with JUST that typo… *lol*

David, do try the Fed Comm demo; might surprise you.

So, are we awaiting tonight to hear what Coyotepunc thinks?


Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP02 Oct 2016 7:28 a.m. PST

GOBS was largely based on Star Trek, with generic elements to allow for Star Wars and other milieu to be played as well. I based the Heavy Cruiser ship class on the original Enterprise as my "core" vessel. One look at the Races & Factions list and you'll see the obvious Trek race counterparts.
There's really nothing to "hunt down" to play the Trek universe in GOBS.
Shields are shields, phasers are phasers, photon torpedoes are photon torpedoes, and the optional elite crew members are clearly analogs of Kirk, Spock, Uhura, Sulu, Chekov, and Scotty. Heck I even stuck in the annoying telepathic counselor from TNG. Even the jokes are mostly Trek!

The real question is what you want your space battles to be. GOBS is exactly what the anagram stands for: GENERIC OUTLANDISHLY BIG SPACEFLEETS. If you want to be an admiral sending waves of spacecraft in to blow up the enemy (and get blown up), then GOBS is your game. If you want to recreate the tight captains' duels of Balance of Terror and The Wrath of Khan, then no, you want a much more detailed game.

Coyotepunc and Hatshepsuut02 Oct 2016 8:03 a.m. PST

Thank you for all the input, gang. 5159 Star Navy is definitely on my radar. I have the Federation Commander demo version, but it is far too complex for my needs. I own Full Thrust, it never occurred to me to look at it (largely because I forgot I had it.)

I will finally getting home tonight. Tomorrow I will look more deeply into things.

Norrins04 Oct 2016 1:46 a.m. PST

Here's some of my Star Trek based 5150: Star Navy battle reports:

TheBeast Supporting Member of TMP04 Oct 2016 5:04 a.m. PST

I own Full Thrust, it never occurred to me to look at it…

There's some Star Trek ships for FT at the end of this thread, though there were more a lot longer ago: TMP link

Two things: If you have the original book, these tend to use the systems as changed in Fleet Book 1, and the fellow bashed his own directional shield rules.

I can look up some original four arc designs if you wish. Remind me with a PM if you need them.


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